Are Miniature Yorkies the Same as Teacup Yorkies? (Solved & Explained!)

There is no difference between Miniature and Teacup Yorkies. The terms ‘Miniature’ and ‘Teacup’ are used interchangeably to describe the same thing: tiny Yorkshire Terriers that weigh less than 4 pounds and stand no more than 2-3 inches high.

Confused? Well don’t be, this article will answer all your questions about these adorable pocket-sized pups.

What’s the difference between Miniature and Teacup Yorkies?

It may surprise you to learn that there isn’t any difference between Teacup and Miniature Yorkies. A common misunderstanding is that Teacup dogs are smaller than Miniatures, or that the terms describe two levels of miniaturization (which we’ll talk about later). But in general, a Teacup is just another name for a Miniature Yorkie.

What is a Yorkie?

Yorkshire Terriers are a Toy breed with a fittingly cute nickname- the Yorkie. These sweet dogs average between 6-7 inches high and must weigh no more than 7 pounds to meet the breed specification. Their coats are typically blue or black with tan and gold accents and they are known for their energetic and intelligent personalities.

Why is there no minimum weight for Yorkies?

The first official Yorkie breed specification included a lower weight limit of 4 pounds which was eventually removed to deter deliberate breeding of increasingly tiny Yorkies. It was hoped that this move would maintain uniformity among the breed and prevent the health problems associated with stunted growth.

Are Miniature and Teacup Yorkies smaller than regular Yorkies?

Although regular sized Yorkies are still very small compared to other dog breeds, Miniatures or Teacups are even smaller still. There are no exact criteria for Miniature or Teacup Yorkies but in general they may weigh as little as 2-3 pounds. The very smallest Yorkies can quite literally fit into the palm of your hand.

So, what’s the main difference between Regular and Miniature or Teacup Yorkies?

Ultimately, the only difference between regular, Miniature, and Teacup Yorkies is their size. All other traits of the breed stay the same, including the glossy coat and small, erect ears. This Toy breed’s popularity is on account of its tiny size and Miniature and Teacup dogs are just at the extreme end of this.

What is a Toy breed?

Toy breeds are dogs bred to be as small as possible and are renowned for their inquisitive and active nature. Popular Toy breeds includes Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, and Yorkies which were originally bred as companionship dogs. When a smaller than expected Toy puppy is born, it is classified as a Teacup or Miniature puppy.

Are Teacup, Miniature, and regular Yorkies different breeds?

If a Yorkie weighs less than 7 pounds it meets the breed specifications irrespective of how small it actually is. Officially, there is no such thing as a ‘miniature’ or ‘teacup’ Yorkie as they are all considered to be the same breed. Despite this technicality, tiny Yorkies are incredibly in demand with months long waiting lists.

How did Teacup Yorkies get their name?

The name ‘Teacup’ reflects just how tiny these dogs are. A quick Google search will show you hundreds of pictures of Miniature Yorkies sitting in, you guessed it, teacups. Yorkies are famously petite- in 1945 Sylvia the Yorkie was thought to be the smallest dog in the World standing at just 2.5 inches tall.

How do you breed a Miniature yorkie?

You can’t specifically breed Miniature or Teacup Yorkies. Instead, you must wait for a runt puppy: a dog born much smaller than expected. When an already small dog (like a Yorkie) has a runt, they are sold by breeders as Teacups or Minis. Breeding two Minis is possible, but it doesn’t guarantee a litter of tiny pups and may lead to health problems later on.

What is miniaturization?

Humans have always loved dainty dogs and Miniature breeds are the result of that. Since the Yorkshire Terrier was first shown in 1861 the average size of the breed has shrunk considerably. This process is called miniaturization and is achieved through selective breeding of smaller dams and sires to create dogs that are significantly smaller than their ancestors.

Do Miniature and Teacup Yorkie puppies cost the same?

As the terms Teacup and Miniature are used interchangeably, breeders will use different labels for Yorkie puppies. On average, Teacup puppies are no more expensive than Miniatures unless there is a clear size difference. A Yorkie puppy from a good breeder will cost between $1000-$2500 with the smallest dogs fetching the highest price.

Is A Teacup Yorkie better than a Miniature Yorkie?

No! They are both tiny versions of the Yorkies that we know and love. Don’t worry about whether your pup is sold as a Teacup or Miniature- look for size, health and a reputable breeder and enjoy your gorgeous new puppy.

How do I know if my Yorkie is Miniature or Teacup?

Even if your puppy was advertised as a Teacup or Miniature, you won’t know if that is indeed what you’ve got until he’s fully grown. Adult Yorkies weighing less than 4 pounds can be categorized as a Miniature or Teacup. Criteria for Yorkie sizes are very arbitrary so it’s important to find a good breeder and do your research!

Is it bad for a Yorkie to be too small?

Very selective breeding and favoring runts over larger puppies can open the door to health issues. Unfortunately, the smaller the Yorkie- the greater the risk of serious health problems. When a Yorkie is a runt from a regular sized dog, it tends to be healthier than one bred from Miniature parents.

Do Teacup and Miniature Yorkies live as long as regular Yorkies?

A regular Yorkie can live anything from 13-16 years old. Because Teacup and Miniature dogs have naturally stunted growth, they tend to have slightly short life expectancies with most living between 7-9 years. As Teacup and Miniature Yorkies are the same thing, there is no difference in their lifespans so always look for the healthiest puppies from the best breeders.